2007, Wed, Dec 192008, Wed, Jan 09

Film programme 8: Iraq

New documentary films from the Middle East

"About Baghdad" (filmstill)

16.05 h

Where is Iraq? the film will not be shown on Dec 19th, 2007

D: Baz Shamoun, Baghdad, 2004, 20 min.

Two months before Saddam Hussein was overthrown, the film-maker and exiled Iraqi Shamoun is waiting at the border to Jordan for the regime to collapse. In his film, he portrays the people he encounters there, people who are marked by the many years of injustice in their country.

16.30 h

About Baghdad

D: Sinan Antoon in co-operation with Bassam Haddad, Maya Mikdashi, Suzy Salamy and Adam Shapiro. Iraq/USA, 2004, 90 min.

Novelist Sinan Antoon documents the mood among the residents of Baghdad shortly before the Americans march into the country. To make this film, he returned to his home town after twelve years in exile.

18.10 h I 19.30 h

Independent Film and TV College

Films 2005-2007

Film-maker Maysoon Pachachi and Kasim Abid also returned to Iraq in 2004 with the aim of establishing an independent film and television school that would offer free instruction. Eight debut films present the perspectives of young Iraqi film-makers who have emerged from the Independent Film and TV College.

Leaving documents a family’s painful process of leaving the country and the house in which they have lived for 30 years. D: Bahram Al-Zuhairi, 2007, 23 mins

Dr Nabil portrays a gentle, committed surgeon with literary talents, who works at a small understaffed Baghdad hospital that suffers from a lack of equipment and medicines. D: Ahmed Jabar, 2007, 17 mins

A Stranger In His Own Country tells the story of Abu Ali, one of the two million Iraqis who have been displaced within the country by sectarian violence. D: Hassanaian Al-Hani, 2007, 10 mins

A Candle For The Shabandar Café is about a literary café on Mutanabbi Street in the heart of old Baghdad, a cultural landmark that was blown up by a suicide car bomb in March 2007. D: Emad Ali, 2007, 23 mins

Documentary Course March 2006 depicts the lives of the director’s fellow students at the Independent Film & Television College, as they try to get in for classes, find the subjects for their films and the difficulties they are confronted with filming in Iraq at the present time. D: Ahmed Kamal, 2006, 15 mins

Baghdad Days, a 35-minute video diary, tells the story of Hiba, a young woman from Kirkuk, who is trying to find a place to live in Baghdad. She looks for work, graduates from college, deals with family problems. D: Hiba Bassim, 2005, 35 mins

Hiwar (Dialogue) is a film about a cultural centre established by a group of artists in 1992 in the Waziriya area of Baghdad. D: Kifya Saleh, 2005, 12 mins

Omar Is My Friend is the story of a student at Baghdad University who works as a taxi driver to support his wife and four daughters. D: Mounaf Shaker, 2005, 15 mins